Energy saving opportunities when moving house
Life is all about opportunity. Most people have a certain idea of what opportunity looks like: it’s either financial or career-oriented, allowing for a better life or more money. But opportunity comes in many forms, some less obvious than others – especially when the opportunity is about something other than money, like the environment.
One situation that is absolutely stuffed with the opportunity to improve your own carbon footprint and pay down some of the environmental debt your lifestyle racks up is moving house. Often, once we’re settled in to a certain way of doing things in a home it’s very difficult to make changes. Renovations are difficult to justify purely for a slow trickle of energy saving, and changing the way your home’s infrastructure and other systems are handled can be disruptive and stressful. That’s why the ideal time to consider these changes is when you’re moving: it’s an opportunity to design the way you live from the ground up.
Consider Energy Efficiency Before You Move
The key is to consider your impact on the environment before you move. The opportunity lies in being able to set up, renovate, and design your new home for maximum power saving and minimum carbon footprint. Here are some things you can consider after you’ve taken the keys, but before you’ve packed everything up and moved:
1. Choose Your New Home Wisely. Even if you aren’t buying a home that has a good energy rating or that has been designed to be efficient, don’t purchase a house that’s too big for your family. Unused rooms are simply wasted energy as they must be heated or cooled, however minimally. Look into its utilities costs and design – that wall of windows that gets sun all day long may be beautiful, but in the warmer months they will make your home expensive to cool down and incredibly inefficient.
2. This is The Ideal Moment to Consider Major Renovations. Renovations give people pause for good reason: Not only can they be expensive, they are stressful and disruptive. But you’re not yet living in the new home. Installing solar panels, energy efficient appliances, air conditioning systems and smart thermostats or other things to make your new home as efficient as possible won’t disturb you and can be complete by the time you move in. Plus, because these efficiencies will result in real savings on your energy bills, these renovations pay for themselves.
3. Perform Deferred Maintenance. Your new home passed an inspection, but that doesn’t mean it’s running in tip-top shape. Before you move in, make sure the walls and floors/ceilings are properly insulated. Seal gaps around windows and doors. Install new power saving products like energy-efficient flooring and double-paned, energy-rated windows. Clean out vents and switch the home’s power provider to a green-certified grid like GreenPower. Change out the roof if it’s older and choose materials and installers that are environmentally-friendly.
Once You’ve Moved In
No matter how energetic you were in making your new home environmentally-friendly before you moved, your work isn’t done after you move in. There are several things you can do lifestyle-wise to make your new home even greener – and the best time to do them is right as you move in, before you slip back into old habits.
For example, even if you replaced everything with energy efficient appliances, install a standby power switch like an EcoSwitch in every room and run every conceivable appliance or device through it. Now’s the time when you can run the wires cleverly to keep everything neat and hidden and yet still be able to reduce energy costs with the push of a button.
No house is going to be perfect, but a little planning before you buy and move and a little thought put into the way you’re going to live in the new house can have a tremendous impact on the carbon footprint you create in your new house and the energy costs you have to deal with. Moving house is an opportunity to reinvent your lifestyle and, just as importantly, to save a lot of money over the longer term.